Friday, October 18, 2002

Another one for the "if this were Clinton" files..

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) has released documents outlining a sustained lobbying campaign by his office on behalf of a major Republican donor, which included efforts to get political appointees of President Bush to overrule career employees at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

The disclosures, prompted by a Freedom of Information request from the Florida Democratic Party, add new details about the time and effort the governor and several top aides devoted to the matter, which centers on a trademark battle between Bacardi Rum and a foreign rival. The inch-high pile of documents indicate that the process began early this year and gained momentum with an April 18 e-mail to Gov. Bush from Jorge Rodriguez-Marquez, Bacardi's vice president for corporate communications. With a subject line reading "BACARDI NEEDS YOUR HELP. Importance: High," Rodriguez-Marquez complained about "U.S. government bureaucrats.'' He added, "Someone needs to tell PTO to stop interfering.''